Sunday, June 23, 2013

DEMOLISHING STRONGHOLDS


~ A True God Story by Jerry Roeder ~

I was a prodigal Christian and alcoholic for many years. I developed the habit of drinking a fifth of bourbon every night. Today, I jokingly say that some people would call that a problem. Truth is, it was destroying my life.  

My wife, who was sincerely seeking God, confronted me several times regarding my drunkenness. She appealed to my faith, on behalf of our children, the church, and my example to others – but I was calloused and wouldn't hear her. 

Eventually, citing 1 Corinthians 5, she asked me to move out of our home. I argued like crazy that this passage didn't refer to married couples. I contended that she was trying to use my behavior as an excuse to divorce me even though she assured me that she hoped for reconciliation.  

I was committed to proving that she and the church that supported her decision were wrong. I had grown up with the Bible, and knew it fairly well. For several months, I used this knowledge to argue with her, to create confusion, and plant doubt in her mind. Convinced I was winning the argument, I called her pastor (Greg Schmidt of Calvary Chapel in Jacksonville, NC) and explained to him that the unjust treatment I was receiving was causing incredible confusion in our home.

I expected to have Pastor Greg on his heels. Instead, he replied, "You're right. This confusion is not good, and it's not from God, but from the enemy. We need to get together and pray about this." I was stunned as I had expected him to be more defensive, but agreed to meet.

So my wife and I got together with Pastor Greg, his wife, and a family friend from the church. I had two pages of notes and scriptures I was going to use to prove that they were wrong, hypocritical, and needed to back off. The pastor opened in prayer and almost immediately, I came under the strong conviction of the Holy Spirit. It was like Paul getting knocked off his horse on the way to Damascus. A deep sense of my own sin came over me! I hid my notes, ashamed to have written them, and sat quietly while he talked. I have no idea what he even said; the only thing that registered to me was that I was the problem.  

Afterwards, with no alcohol to numb me, and in full recognition that I was the one who needed to change, I finally began to seek the Lord. I started to see the hurt, bitterness, anger, and drivenness that imprisoned me! 

Pastor Greg mentioned the “Inner-Healing Workbook” and asked if I would be willing to work through it. Absolutely! Before he could get the copy to me, I was deep in prayer asking the Lord to show me how I could find this healing that Pastor Greg talked about.  

God showed me a pattern of lies in my life that I'd built like thick medieval castle walls to protect myself from pain and vulnerability. He also revealed that only His truth could dismantle this formidable fortress and powerfully set me free. As the Holy Spirit started to uncover the lies I believed, He also brought scriptures into my heart and mind to captivate and demolish the strongholds that enslaved me (2 Corinthians 10:3-5).

A couple days later, Greg got the booklet to me. It was an amazing confirmation of what the Lord had begun to accomplish! It also provided additional scriptural references, guidance, and other helpful areas to study. A section on "Barriers to Healing" was especially helpful as it pinpointed the strangleholds that were crippling me so that God could emancipate me (Galatians 5:1 and 13).

After I worked through the booklet, I began to use it with other men God brought into my life who had similar issues. It has been exciting to see that what God did in me He was now doing through me. What a joy to help others find healing and freedom through Jesus. 

Musical Meditation on Breaking the Chains 
Note: The “Inner-Healing Workbook” is designed to be used in a time alone with God and is available for $5 by emailing People Resources Team at peopleresources@navigators.org. It’s a condensed version of chapters 5, 6, and 7 from “A Guide for Listening and Inner-Healing Prayer.”  

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1 comment:

  1. Dude;
    That is a great story. Love it. An d you...
    Ron

    ReplyDelete